I was surprised with this article, written by my new Facebook friend, Mr. Jason Cook. Thank you very much, Mr. Cook. I really appreciate it. The original can be viewed here.
One of the promises that technologists have steadfastly made is how computers and the Internet will shrink the world and bring us all closer together as human beings.
Of course, that promise has been partially fulfilled. Without the connections made on the unseen network of electrons known as the Internet, I wouldn't be engaged to Menchu.
Most of us, though, wind up on social sites like Facebook with 824 "friends" of whom we know about twenty and really know about eight.
Now here’s Gino Matibag.
I added Gino last week after I saw his video re-post of the “Ondoy Olympics” that showed kids having a swimming competition in the floodwaters of Recto.
I didn’t know a thing about Gino except that he seemed to be in Japan and he owned at least one cool hat.
He keeps posting things on his “wall” that intrigue me. He posts about the calamities on storm-ravaged Luzon. He re-posts from others. He posts observations of his own from his own blog.
I’m getting to know Gino. Through his choice of items to post, I’m seeing the kind of man he is.
Then here is his recent post with links to excerpts of a book he hopes to publish. The book is a first-hand “take” on the Japanese people from a Filipino point of view.
Anyone with any knowledge of World War II knows that the Philippines was occupied by Imperial Japan and that the Filipino people suffered greatly at the hands of their occupiers.
People with knowledge of the Philippines know that the Philippines has complicated relationships with many neighboring countries due to wars, trade, treaties and whatnot.
A book like the one Gino has written would interest many people who love Asia and the Philippines – people like me.
But broader to the story that Gino has written (please see Express Yourself: Memoirs of Japan for that), is Gino “fleshing” himself out for me.
He’s older than I thought he was. He’s a doctor. In a culture still struggling with an overload of machismo and jumbled male/female relational rules as well as a large Muslim population, he’s an obstetrician.
I learned more about Gino from the first paragraph of his book than I had in a week on Facebook.
The promise of the Internet isn’t magic. It will not be fulfilled by adding “friends” to your Mafia for the help they bring in fights. It will not be fulfilled by the flash of updates that the Facebook toolbar stacks up the side of your monitor’s screen.
If you want to shrink the world and bring people from other countries close to you, you still have to work at it. You still have to spend time with them and read the books of their lives. The promise is the ability. The fulfillment of that promise is still in the exercise of ability.